In 2014, JobsFirstNYC issued Unleashing the Economic Power of the 35 Percent, our call to action on four strategies to move young adults into jobs. This concept paper expands upon on one of our key recommendations, Opportunity Centers.
A network of Opportunity Centers in the 18 communities that are home to more than half of the city’s OSOW (out-of-school, out-of-work) young adults could enable New York City to help 20,000 obtain paid employment, internships or apprenticeships within five years, re-enroll 20 percent of recent dropouts into a high school diploma granting program, and reduce recidivism for at least 1,000 young adults with criminal justice histories.
As envisioned, the Opportunity Centers would leverage diverse resources to offer the following services specifically targeted to OSOW youth:
- Screening and assessment of academic proficiency and work skills
- Placement in jobs, internships, and other work experiences, including those developed through sectoral and neighborhood employment partnerships
- Assistance in setting and achieving educational goals
- Career counseling and work coaching
- Building physical and mental health
- Computer and financial literacy
- Referrals for housing, healthcare, child care and other services
- Training & post-secondary education
For full details, download the concept paper.